Sheffield Wednesday fall to Doncaster Rovers as Owls fire blanks once again
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As always Wednesdayites turned up in their thousands, over 3,000 of them making the short trip to the Eco-Power Stadium, but many will have done so with a heavy heart following the tragic news over the last couple of days that saw them lose two very popular members of the Owls family – Trevor Francis and Chris Bart-Williams.
‘Tricky Trev’ and ‘Bartman’ wrote their names into the annals of history in the joyous days of the early 1990s, and fans were left shocked on Monday as they realised that they were no longer with us. On Tuesday night they at least got to pay their respects, and as the players donned black armbands a minute’s applause rang around the stadium.
Only afterwards could the game itself get underway, and frankly it didn’t go too well for the visitors. The only real chance early doors came after a fortuitous ricochet off Owen Bailey’s face sent Callum Paterson through on goal, his dink took him past the Ian Lawlor but it was cleared off the line and Josh Windass’ couldn’t fire his effort goalwards.
Doncaster were doing a lot of the attacking, and the biggest save of the half came from Camer Dawson, who brilliantly palmed a strike from Tommy Rowe over the bar from close-range. It was the hosts who looked most likely to break the deadlock.
They didn’t, though. And a half in which Wednesday never really got going came to an end without any major incident for either side. There were no changes at all at the break, and the Owls did come out for the second stanza with a bit more intent.
Will Vaulks fired just wide with a low drive with 52 minutes on the clock, and soon afterwards a Windass header was blocked and shouts of handball were ignored. Jack Senior then threw himself of a well-struck volley from the Owls number 11, and it felt as though Wednesday were finding their feet.
George Byers and Michael Smith were introduced into the fold, replacing Jay Glover and Lee Gregory, and six minutes later there were two more changes – Sean Fusire and Adam Alimi-Adetoro taking the place of Dominic Iorfa and Marvin Johnson.
In all likelihood the substitutions were made in order to give those coming off a break and those coming on a chance to get some more minutes in their legs, but they certainly won’t have wanted to concede, which is exactly what happened shortly after. Tyler Roberts beating Paterson down the right, and Luke Molyneux heading home almost a free header inside the box. The home crowd cheered, and on the balance of the game it probably wasn’t undeserved.
More changes. Barry Bannan and Vaulks off, Rio Shipson and Bailey Cadamarteri on. Five minutes later it was Pierce Charles, Cian Flannery, Luke Cook and Gui Siqueira coming on, they replaced Dawson, Reece James, Paterson and Windass.
The game was petering out by this point, aside from a few sarcastic jeers from the home support, and Favour Onukwuli’s arrival for Akin Famewo was merely a way for the youngster to get more more senior minutes under his belt. Shipston struck just over from range, and five minutes were added on - by this time only two experienced members remained.
1-0 it ended, now onto Luton Town in their final preseason friendly on Saturday.